Just five things: Surgical Edition

If you're a regular reader or listener of my podcast, then you may already know this, but for those not in the know, I am going in for spinal fusion of my C6 and C7 vertebrae on Thursday, July 18.

I received word on July 8 and scheduled the surgery immediately. So, I've been trying to prepare by recording extra podcast content in advance, sending my partner on a large grocery shopping excursion, and prepping for surgery and life post-op for the past several days.

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Just five things (a new monthly series)

I have kicked around the idea of writing a regular blog to feature helpful products and resources that make my Spoonie life more livable, for quite some time. I decided today, just moments before I began writing this post, to start doing so today and to do it monthly. Welcome to the June edition of Just Five Things!

Some of the products I will feature each month are products that I have affiliate links for, and I’m not even trying to hide that from you. A Spoonie has got to eat! The affiliate links may also generate revenue for my podcast, as I may share products and services from our corporate sponsors and affiliates — or companies that become our podcast sponsors and affiliates.

Don’t hate, appreciate. You’ll get a discount too, for using my/our link. I nor my podcast will ever endorse products or services that we don’t use ourselves or haven’t tried, we’re actually super picky about that shit. So, without further adieu, here are five things that make my #SpoonieLife easier and/or better every day!

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Medical Gaslighting: When your doctor tries to make you feel crazy.

If gaslighting is manipulating someone into questioning their own sanity, medical gaslighting is manipulating a patient into thinking that they are exaggerating their own condition, causing a patient more and prolonged pain, putting their well-being or even their lives at risk. Both anecdotal and legal studies suggest that the mistreatment and neglect of female patients reporting pain to medical professionals is not the exception, but the rule. It has got to stop. (Quote from an article I’ve previously published.)

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Dream a little dream.

Last year my business coach and mentor, Heather Quisel, had everyone in our 14-Day Level Up Challenge group write a letter to themselves. We then tucked those letters into envelopes and mailed them off to Heather, with a self-addressed and stamped return envelope for her to utilize to mail the letters back to us one year later.

Today, I received the letter I wrote to myself on May 29, 2018.

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Put me in, Coach...

I have a personal trainer because he knows better than I do what is safe for me to do and try knowing my body’s unique limitations. I have a trauma therapist because she knows better than I do how to develop healthy coping mechanisms for processing complex trauma. I have a business coach and mentor who’s a millionaire because she knows better than I do what it takes to get there!

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Repeat after me...

So, here’s the thing my therapist tells me that I’ve literally been saying on repeat in my head ALL DAY.
“It’s just a bad time in your life, sweet girl. not a bad lifetime.”
It was just an awful day, only one terrible day out of the last 13 days since getting my implant. Those are a lot better odds than what I was working with before!

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Guess Who's Back?!

I focused on my physical health goals and pushing doctors to work with me to define what has been happening with my body and how to treat my pain long-term and in a way that would significantly improve my quality of life. (It appears I may have something called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or CRPS, though the diagnosis is not yet official.) I also kept busting my ass in my rehabilitative workouts in the pool and with my personal trainer. I dropped 9 inches from August to October, from my waist, chest, and hips.

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I had to take a break.

Brain: No. Don't do that thing you feel like it's important to do. It will be fine. The world won't stop spinning. Also brain: You should feel horrible about not doing that thing! Now everyone is going to be disappointed in you and they'll never want to read your blog again!

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Masks are a survival tool... until they're not.

Here's the thing, though. You shouldn't be afraid of your story, you should embrace it and you should share it. If you share it, people will flock to you, for product or for partnership, because your story is what makes you a real ass human (shout out to my girl Debbie.)

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EMDR & trauma therapy for PTSD

We don't have to drown in the shame of it any longer.If you've been 'afraid to go there' through talk therapy (CBT) or EMDR, please believe me when I say it's probably not as bad as you imagine and definitely not as bad as whatever trauma you lived through in the first place. 

You deserve to heal.

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Protecting our subconscious

My therapist calls 'should' a 'church word.' She says we go around 'shoulding' ourselves all the time, and it has an unhealthy impact on our subconscious, because by saying we should be doing something that we don't want to do, or that isn't in our best interests, maybe because of some misplaced desire to be polite, we are telling our subconscious that our needs come last.

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I am Kelly Nerdzilla Mendenhall

I am Kelly Nerdzilla Mendenhall. I am an author, entrepreneur, and love terrorist living with chronic pain and invisible illness. I help other badass unicorns, like myself, break away from 'tradition' and create a life and career that honors their special needs and limitations.

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Serotonin Syndrome is scary AF

But what is happening to me? I had zero reflexes in my left legs and my pupils weren't responding to light, I was falling over, the pain was intense because at this point I was like 12+ hours without any meds, and my blood pressure was up to like 191/87 at one point.

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